Take the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge
19 easy ways to get your 9 servings a day.
If you thought getting five servings of fruits
and vegetables a day was tough, get ready for nine! That's the latest
recommendation from the new dietary guidelines released by the departments of
Agriculture and Health and Human Services. Nine servings translate to about 2
cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day.
We all know fruits and vegetables are good for us but how do we go about
getting nine servings every day? Most of us had a hard time working in
And what about people who don't even like veggies? Many of us can even
picture our mothers urging us to "eat our vegetables" at the family
dinner table -- or even refusing to let us leave the table until we choked
those veggies down. (In fact, some researchers say that bad experiences with
vegetables from our past can affect how we feel about these vegetables now,
says Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition consultant to the American Institute for Cancer
If this sounds like you, eating 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day probably
sounds next to impossible. But it's a goal that's so important for your
"The best nutrition minds in the country made these recommendations
after studying the research that show fruits and vegetables can help reduce the
risk for heart
disease, type 2
diabetes, some cancers, and high blood pressure," says Christine
Filardo, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
"Fruits and vegetables can also help fight the obesity epidemic."
According to Filardo, the most common reasons people give for not eating
more fruits and vegetables are that they often aren't convenient, and people
don't know how to prepare them.
So what does it take to get into the nine-a-day habit? According to
- It takes constantly reminding yourself to eat fruits and vegetables.
- It takes having fruit and veggies available at every turn -- at work, at
home, in restaurants.
- It takes making it easy for yourself, because most people today are beyond
- If you haven't been accustomed to eating much produce, it takes starting
small -- maybe going for one serving a day at first -- and staying the
With all this in mind, here are 19 surefire ways to get you on the road to
enjoying fruits and vegetables several times a day.
1. Make fruit salad.
Fruit is much more appealing if it is cut, washed, and assembled into a
colorful salad. A couple of times a week, clean out your produce bin and make a
beautiful fruit salad.
2. Make a bowl of fruit part of your decor.
Wash whatever fresh fruit you have at the moment and set a big bowl of it on
your table or desk. As you pass by or talk on the phone, you'll find yourself
munching on this awesome snack food.